Spain: New EC measures considered insufficient

The European Commission has issued the quotas for withdrawal, green harvesting and non-harvesting operations in Spain, limited to just a few products and excluding a large part of the sector, with much lower volumes than what is actually exported to Russia. Quotas planned for the first half of 2015 are: 300 tonnes for apples and pears; 7,400 tonnes for citrus; 26,650 tonnes for tomatoes, carrots, peppers and cucumbers and 0 tonnes for all other products.

For the products included in the quotas, the Commission has set maximum amounts of aid well below production costs; for example, for tomatoes intended for free distribution it will pay 27.45 Euro per 100 kilos, and for withdrawal for other purposes 18.3 Euro/100 kilos. These amounts are considered insufficient to compensate producers for the heavy losses caused by the Russian ban.

FEPEX believes that the sector faces a serious crisis, largely due to the loss of the Russian market, along with multiple other negative factors, such as the crisis of consumption, the strong growth in imports from third countries and the ineffectiveness of the crisis management measures enforced by the CMO.

In this context, and in order to improve the effectiveness of crisis management measures, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture has authorised funding for the processing of 20,000 tonnes of oranges intended for the production of juice for food banks. This will take place before the end of 2014.

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